(Washington, DC) – Congressman Andy Barr and House Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas published an op-ed in The Hill today on the increased frequency of theft of U.S. research by the Chinese Communist Party amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can protect American universities and research institutions from this continued aggression.
“On May 13, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a notice to all U.S. organizations researching treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines for COVID-19,” Lucas and Barr wrote. “Chinese hackers, they warned, are targeting universities and health care institutions, attempting to compromise our efforts to combat COVID-19.
“That’s why we’ve introduced legislation that directs NIST to provide tailormade guidance based on the NIST framework for our universities and research centers: the NIST COVID–19 Cybersecurity Act. NIST’s guidance will identify the specific needs of our research enterprise and provide precise tools that allow institutions to make appropriate individual plans based on the size of their organization and the sensitivity of the data being used.
“Helping to defend our universities and research centers from attacks by China is one of the most straightforward and commonsense actions we can take to prevent and treat U.S. COVID-19 cases. Moreover, this initiative will provide us with valuable insight needed to protect other mission-critical research being conducted across the United States.”